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Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low,
CLXXVII. — THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.
1. On the second of July, 1776, the resolution of Independence was adopted by the old Congress; and, on the ever-memorable Fourth of July of that year, the Declaration reported by the Committee, with some slight alterations, was agreed to and promulgated. It is now a nation's creed. Let it not be supposed that the measure was carried without opposition. Assaults it did encounter, resistance it did suffer; not from the ene. mies only of our country, but from her most sincere friends The timid were alarmed. The minds of men of ordinary constancy were possessed with doubts and hesitation at this final, this irretrievable step. Heroic courage and patriotism were what the occasion demanded, and what - let us be thankful for it ! — the occasion found.
2. It was, indeed, a fearful question. At the last moment, when it was about to be put, a celebrated member of the Congress, a gentleman of undoubted patriotism, rose and spoke against the proposed measure. He stated the consequences of it in alarming colors. Silence and doubt ensued. It was then that John Adams, the “ pillar of its support," as Mr. Jefferson has styled him, rose in reply. His fervid eloquence silenced every doubt. The question was settled, and the vote of the States was unanimous. In what language he made this last and powerful appeal, we may judge from the triumphant burst of patriotic exultation and pious emotion with which he wrote to a friend on the following day.
3. “ Yesterday the greatest question: was decided that was ever debated in America ; and greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided by men. A résolution was passed, without one dissenting colony, that these United States are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.' The day is passed. The Fourth of July, 1776, will be a memorable epochs in the history of America. I am apt to believe it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to Almighty God.
4. “It ought to be solemnized with pomp, shows, games,
sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of the continent to the other, from this time forward forever. You will think me transported with enthusiasm, but I am not. I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States; yet, through all the gloom, I can see the rays of light and glory. I can see that the end is worth more than all the means; and that posterity will triumph, although you and I may rue, — which, I hope, we shall not."
CLXXVIII. — THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS AMONG
THEMSELVES. 1. HOPING to reach the camp of the rangers before nightfall, we pushed on until twilight, when we were obliged to halt on the borders of a ravine. The rângers bivouackedet under trees, at the bottom of the dell, while we pitched our tent on a rocky knöll near a running stream. The night came on dark and overcast, with flying clouds, and much appearance of rain. The fires of the rangers burnt brightly in the dell, and threw strong masses of light upon the robber-looking groups that were cooking, eating, and drinking, around them.
2. To add to the wildness of the scene, several Osage Indians, visitors from the village we had passed, were mingled among the men. Three of them came and seated themselves by our fire. They watched everything that was going on round them, in silence, and looked like figures of monumental bronze. We gave them food, and, what they most relished, coffee ; for the Indians partake in the universal fondness for this beverage, which pervades the West. When they had made their supper, they stretched themselves, side by side, before the fire, and be gan a low nasal chant, drumming with their hands upon their breasts by way of accompaniment.
3. Their chant seemed to consist of regular staves, every one terminating, not in a melodious cadence, but in the abrupt interjection, huh! uttered almost like a hiccup. The chant related to ourselves, our appearance, our treatment of them, and all that they knew of our plans. This mode of improvisingEl is common throughout the savage tribes ; and in this way, with a few simple inflections of the voice, they chant all their exploits in war and hunting, and occasionally indulge in a vein of oumio humor and dry sătire, to which the Indians appear to me much more prone than is generally imagined.
4. In fact, the Indians that I have had an opportunity of seeing in real life are quite different from those described in poetry. They are by no means the stoicsEl that they are represented; taciturn, unbending, without a tear or a smile. Taci. turn they are, it is true, when in company with white men, whose good will they distrust, and whose language they do not understand; but the white man is equally taciturn under like circumstances. When the Indians are among themselves, how. ever, there cannot be greater gossips. Half their time is taken up in talking over their adventures in war and hunting, and in telling whimsical stories.
5. They are great mimics and buffoons, also, and entertain whemselves excessively at the expense of the whites with whom they have associated, and who have supposed them impressed with profound respect for their grandeur and dignity. They are curious observers, noting everything in silence, but with a keen and watchful eye; occasionally exchanging a glance or a grunt with each other, when anything particularly strikes them, but reserving all comments until they are alone. Then it is that they give full scope to criticism, satire, mimicry, and mirth.
6. In the course of my journey along the frontier, I have had repeated opportunities of noticing their excitability and boisterous merriment at their games; and have occasionally noticed a group of Osages sitting round a fire until a late hour of the night, engaged in the most animated conversation, and at times making the woods resound with peals of laughter. As to tears, they have them in abundance, both real and affected ; at times they make a merit of them. No one weeps more bitterly or profusely at the death of a relative or friend; and they have stated times when they repair to howl and lament at their gravus. As far as I can judge, the Indian of poetical fiction is like the shepherd of pastoral romance, a mere personification of imaginary attributes.
CLXXIX. — DRAMATIC EXTRACTS.
1 EFFECT OF ORATORY ON A MULTITUDE. – Rev. George Croly.
His words seemed oracles
The evening came, yet there the people stood,
2. SOLILOQUY OF VAN ARTEVELDE. — Henry Taylor
The dweller in the mountains, on whose ear
May shake the cottage of the mountaineer, dignity or effect!'__*
8. My Lords, this ruinous and ignominious situation, where we cannot act with success nor suffer with honor, calls upon us to remonstrate in the strongest and loudest language of truth, to rescue the ear of Majesty from the delusions which surround it. You cannot, I venture to say it, you CANNOT conquer America. What is your present situation there? We do not know the worst; but we know that in three campaigns we have done nothing and suffered much. You may swell every expense, and strain every effort, still more extravagantly; accumulate every assistance you can beg or borrow; traffic and barter with every little pitiful German Prince, that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign country: your efforts are forever vain and impotent, — doubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates to an incurable resentment the minds of your enemies, to overrun them with the sordid sons of rapine and of plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the
rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am · an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country
I never would lay down my arms! - never! never! never!
CLXXXI. — LITERATURE OF THE ANCIENT HEBREWS.
1. In no respect does the Hebrew nation appear to greater advantage than when viewed in the light of their sublime compositions. Nor is this remark confined simply to the style or mechanism of their writings, which is nevertheless allowed by the best judges to possess many merits; it may be extended more especially to the exalted nature of their subjects, — the works, the attributes, and the purposes of Jehovah. The poets of pagan antiquity, on the other hand, excite by their descriptions of divine things our ridicule or disgust.
2. Even the most approved of their order exhibit repulsive images of their deities, and suggest the grossest ideas in connection with the principles and enjoyments which prevail among the inhabitants of Olympus. But the contemporaries of David, inferior in many things to the ingenious people who listened to the strains of Homer and of Virgil, are remarkable for their elevated conceptions of the Supreme Being as the Creator and Governor of the world, not less than for the suitable terms in which they
give utterance to their exalted thoughts. 17. 3. In no other country but Judēa, at that early period, were
such sentiments as the following either expressed or felt: “O Jehovah, our Lord, how excellent is thy hapis in all the earth, thou that hast set thy glory a re the heavens! Wheu Icon sider thy heavens, the work of thy whyers, the inocn an, the stars which thou hast ordained, what is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Bless Jehovah, O my soul! O Lord, my God, thou art very great, and art clothed with honor and majesty! Thou coverest thyself with light as with a garment, and stretchest out the heavens like a curtain : who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters, who maketh the clouds his chariot, and walketh upon the wings of the wind!
4. “Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless Jehovah, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits ; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies. Jehovah
is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. Tapio He hath not dealt with us after our sins, neither rewarded us ol according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the = 18 earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. For he bunt knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust.” r! 5. “ O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me : thou